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Fans to protest over Premier League ticket prices

ESPN staff
June 19, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Manchester City's returning of the Arsenal tickets opened up a debate on ticket pricing © Getty Images
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Supporters are to stage a protest regarding ticket prices on Wednesday, when the 2013-14 Premier League fixtures are announced.

The rising cost to attend matches in England is under scrutiny, with Manchester City's returning of 912 tickets, priced at £62 each, for their fixture with Arsenal in January causing particular controversy.

A protest organised by the Spirit Of Shankly (SOS), the Liverpool fans group, will culminate at the Premier League's London headquarters, where it is reported by the Times that chief executive Richard Scudamore will meet with the organisers.

Fans from other clubs, as well as Liverpool, are set to take part, including Manchester United, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.

The Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) is backing the march, with the body pushing for ticket prices for away matches to be capped at £20.

An FSF spokesperson said in the London Evening Standard: "The FSF fully support Spirit of Shankly's efforts to highlight unacceptably high ticket prices - nine out of 10 fans think football's too expensive.

"Along with campaigns like the FSF's Twenty's Plenty for Away Tickets, this protest will demonstrate that fans can't be squeezed forever. Premier League clubs are set to share a £5.5 billion media deal and the increase from the domestic rights alone is enough to knock £600 off every fan's season ticket.

"Clubs are swimming in cash and it's about time fans' loyalty was rewarded with more affordable tickets."

A Premier League spokesman added: "Ticket pricing is a matter for individual clubs, many of which work hard to fill their stadiums with offers at different points during a season that make top-flight football accessible to large numbers of fans.

"We have always encouraged stretch pricing to help accessibility and it is against Premier League rules to charge away fans more than home fans for the same standard of seats.

"The quality and safety of stadia is as a result of extensive and continued investment from the clubs.

"Fans clearly enjoy the environment in which they watch Premier League matches and the football on offer with occupancy rates of 95 per cent for last season and having been above 90% for the last 16 seasons in a row."

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